Watching tv and a character says "j'ai la course à faire" (but she was not going to run anywhere) and she was not going shopping.

Can it mean I have something to go and do?

  • 3
    Please add some context.
    – Toto
    Sep 2, 2014 at 12:00
  • Weird French but maybe: I need to do it.
    – Zistoloen
    Sep 2, 2014 at 15:55
  • faire la course = race someone, faire une course = run an errand, faire les courses = do the groceries.
    – njzk2
    Feb 4, 2015 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


J'ai la course à faire does not sound like proper french.

J'ai une course à faire can indeed be used to say go shopping but has a more broader meaning. For example, it's ok to use it when you go to the postoffice, to the hairdresser, if you have to go pickup something,...

It's also quite a generic expression that can be used as an excuse to leave if you do not want to say specally where you are going.

Please provide more context if you want a more precise answer.

  • 1
    The making an excuse to go elsewhere seems to fit the situation I saw in the tv programme. Sep 9, 2014 at 10:58

Based on @Ndech's response, it seems the most accurate translation of j'ai une course à faire would be I have an errand to run. It is possible then, if the character on the TV program in your question referred to the errand in an earlier sentence, that they could use la course to refer to the errand previously mentioned.

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